Sunday, September 23, 2018
Public safety

Former Secret Service agent hired as St. Petersburg's newest assistant police chief

ST. PETERSBURG —Police Chief Tony Holloway hired a colonel from the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office to serve as the city's newest assistant chief.

James D. Previtera will serve as the assistant chief of the Investigative Services Bureau after David DeKay retires this month, according to St. Petersburg police. Previtera has worked in law enforcement for 28 years, including stints with the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office and the U.S. Secret Service.

"As assistant chief, James Previtera will bring his expertise as well as a fresh set of eyes into the St. Petersburg Police Department," Holloway said in a statement.

The chief, who also recently joined the department after years at the helm of the Clearwater Police Department, said he knows Previtera through past work on interagency task forces.

Previtera began working for the Hillsborough sheriff in 2005, according to a biography on the office's website. He most recently led the Department of Operational Support, overseeing the homeland security division, training division, and human resources bureau, among other departments. He also previously led the Department of Detention Services and holds a bachelor's degree in criminology from Saint Leo University.

In a 2006 story, the Times wrote of Previtera's work in the Secret Service, noting that he worked on then-Vice President Dick Cheney's security detail. A native of St. Petersburg, the Times wrote, Previtera once aspired to a career in journalism but later moved to law enforcement, not long after an editor assigned him to a ride-along with a police officer.

See the Times' previous story on Previtera at tbtim.es/a0a.

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